If your new year’s resolution is to get out and experience more of Southern California with the kiddos, then start this weekend. You can ring in 2017 with these family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations. Take a refreshing walk in nature at Mission Trails. Go tidepooling at the Birch Aquarium. Or head to Pretend City for both Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations. Happy New Year!


photo: Jim Winstead via Flickr CC

San Diego

Pajama Jam at the New Children’s Museum
What better way to celebrate the New Year in your jammies at The New Children’s Museum? Grab your coziest, footie pajamas and make your way down to the event of the year! Complete with dinner, drinks, entertainment, prizes and a balloon drop- this is a night you will not want to miss! Fri. Event details

Rockin’ New Year’s Eve at Corvette Diner
Celebrate New Year’s Eve, 1950s style at Corvette Diner. The DJ will be spinning awesome tunes and your family can enjoy a burger, shake, balloon artists, and fun games. The party starts early to make time for the Big Apple ball drop at 9 p.m. when families will watch the drop on television and toast to 2017. Sat. Event details.


Guided Nature Walk
Enjoy a free guided nature walk and learn about the history, geology, plants, animals and ecology of the park. These interpretive nature walks are offered to enhance your appreciation of our open space and the unique beauty of San Diego’s natural environment. Sat. Event details.

North County

Tidepooling Adventure with Birch Aquarium
Visit a local tide pool with Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Learn how these amazing habitats and their inhabitants truly survive between a rock and a hard place. Trained naturalists will show you how to tread lightly during your visit and how to protect and preserve these natural wonders. Don’t forget to make a reservation ahead of time. Fri. Event details

South Bay

New Year’s Eve Family Part at Living Coast Discovery Center
The event includes a hot chocolate bar, cookies and treats. There’s also wildlife encounters, photo booth, arts and crafts, teen room with karaoke, and lots more. Families will celebrate when the ball drops at 9 p.m. in New York City. Sat. Event details.

Orange County

Hooray for Hanukkah
Spin the dreidel and light the Menorah at Pretend City! Let your little ones learn about this holiday through fun activities, traditions, games, and art! We will have a full day of fun singing songs and getting in the holiday spirit! This weekend’s activities include story times and songs. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Festival of Kwanzaa Celebration
Each day kids will light a candle on the Kinara and celebrate a new principle through a variety of activities. They will also make gifts for family and friends and work at the family stand. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

What are you doing this weekend? Tell us in the comments!

– Leah R. Singer